Earlier this year I was doing my taxes, and I was delighted to discover that, for the first time ever, I made more money playing music than I spent.

There are other local musicians who make more than me, and I suppose I could have done a better job managing my finances than I did, but one thing of which I am justifiably proud is that I’ve never panhandled.

I’ve been seeing a disturbing number of fundraising pages (Kickstarter, GoFundMe, Patreon) used by musicians to raise money for recording time, to buy equipment, or play out of town gigs. Whatever happened to working your ass off, saving your money, then pursuing your dream?

Pampered millennials? No, because my generation is just as bad. After the Riverside Inn in Cambridge Springs burned down last year, a GoFundMe page was established to rebuild it. Isn’t that what insurance is for?

I myself had a love/hate relationship with the Riverside Inn. The silver-haired coot who owned the place actually yelled at me for reading the newspaper in the dining room, but I loved the fact that they hosted the Riverside Music Festival every spring (organized by local musician Justin Moyar).

I myself was booked to play at this festival in 2016, but cancelled when an opportunity arose to play at the Bullseye Records 30th anniversary party in Toronto that same night. I have no regrets; the Bullseye gig was one of my best shows ever - maybe even the best.

However, despite the demise of the Riverside Inn, Moyar is still keeping the festival going, with performances taking place at various venues in Cambridge Springs.

As you can imagine, my no-show at the 2016 festival severely weakened my bargaining power when negotiating a slot at this year’s festival. I was eventually able to book a slot for Saturday, June 16 at 1pm. Not exactly a time when rock musicians are at their creative best, but hey… sometimes you gotta bloom where you’re planted!

Check out the festival website at

http://www.cambridgespringsmusicfestival.com/index/

I frequently tell people that I’m a cross between Elvis and Einstein… I sing like Einstein and I teach math like Elvis! When most people hear that I teach math and play music, they usually respond that math and music go together. But I think this is a myth. Mathematics is the epitome of logic, while musicians are basically irrational.

Take Alzheimer’s disease… My grandmother, my aunt, and my father all suffered from Alzheimer’s and I fully believe that, one day, it will get me too. You would think that Alzheimer’s research would be more important to me than, say, music. But I only think about Alzheimer’s research a few times a year. I think about music every day.

That’s why I was honored to be invited to play at Crawford County Care Center’s “Longest Day” festival on June 21. June 21 is the “longest day” of the year; that is, the day with the most hours of daylight (in the northern hemisphere, anyway).

It’s also the day chosen by the Alzheimer’s Association to coordinate events around the world to raise awareness for this disease. I’ve played for worthy causes before, but this is the first one in which I actually have a stake.

For more about Longest Day, check out:

http://act.alz.org/site/TR?fr_id=10935&pg=entry

Thanks again for your support, and remember to always make time for music.

 

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